UN Day of Vesak 2019 opens in Ha Nam province

09:17 | 13/05/2019 Events

More than 1,650 international delegates from 112 countries and territories across the world and over 20,000 Vietnamese Buddhist dignitaries, monks, nuns and followers attended the opening ceremony of the 16th UN Day of Vesak 2019 on May 12 at Tam Chuc Pagoda in Kim Bang district in northern Ha Nam province.

Overview of opening ceremony of the 16th UN Day of Vesak 2019 - Credit: VGP

Addressing the opening ceremony, Most Venerable Thich Tri Quang, First Deputy Supreme Patriarch of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) conveyed the message of Supreme Patriarch of the VBS Most Venerable Thich Pho Tue on the occasion of Lord Buddha’s birthday.

In his message, VBS Supreme Patriarch Most Venerable Thich Pho Tue welcomed the presence of all international and local delegates, religious leaders, Buddhist dignitaries, monks and nuns to the UN Day of Vesak 2019, saying the event was a precious chance for all people to build up their religious faith and uphold the Lord Buddha’s legacy and spiritual values...

The UN Day of Vesak 2019 aims to contribute to realising the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, he wrote, expressing his hope that delegates will discuss and reach measures to successfully implement the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In his speech, Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon, Chairman of the VBS Executive Council and head of the Vesak 2019 organising committee, highlighted the Buddhist philosophy for building an equal and peaceful society, without classes, wars and hatred.

Meanwhile, Most Venerable Phra Brahmapundit, President of the International Council for Day of Vesak, expressed his impression on Vietnam’s great efforts and dedication towards successful celebrations of the UN Day of Vesak...

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc delivers a speech at the opening ceremony - Source: VGP

In his speech, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc welcomed the presence of international delegates, dignitaries, monks and nuns to the event, saying the UN Day of Vesak means beyond a religious and cultural festival to send the long-lasting message of the Lord Buddha on peace, harmony, tolerance and kindness to all people.

PM Phuc spoke highly of the theme of the UN Day of Vesak 2019, saying it showed the responsibility of Buddhism for the presence and future of the society.

“The agenda of the celebration reflects the goals of the UN’s Agenda 2030 for sustainability, prosperity, ensuring that no one will be left behind, which the Vietnamese Government has committed to realise,” PM Phuc said.

He underlined Vietnam’s religious diversity, saying Vietnamese Buddhism has a long history, with Buddhist dignitaries, monks and nuns having been standing by the nation through ups and downs. The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha has continuously grown and proven its role in the national development.

“Hosting the 16th UN Day of Vesak 2019 once again confirmed Vietnam’s focus and respect for cultural, ethics values of religions, including Buddhism, while showing its policy on international cooperation and integration,” he reiterated.

This is the third time Vietnam has hosted the UN Vesak celebrations, helping to improve Vietnamese Buddhism’s role in international integration and affirm Vietnam's position and responsibility for UN activities in all fields.